Demon City Shinjuku (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, December 01, 1998
Release Date: Tuesday, December 01, 1998



What They Say
The near future. The glittering skyline of Tokyo now lies broken and crumbling under the weight of an oppressive evil: The tyrannical Rebi Rah.

Rah has transformed Shinjuku, the heart of Tokyo, into a city of demons - and that's just the beginning. There are only three days left until Rah destroys the world...

For years, no one has dared to cross the foul moat, which Rah and his evil minions built around the Demon City - until now. Desperate to rescue her father, who has been taken captive by Rah and his monstrous minions, the beautiful Sayaka Rama enlists the help of Kyoya, a streetwise Tokyo teenager. The two must bravely venture into the Demon City, where even the army fears to tread.

Even if Sayaka and Kyoya manage to defeat Rah's army of monsters, will they be able to destroy the dark sorcerer? Or will they face the same fate as all those who came before them?

The Review!
The Shinjuku section of Tokyo lies in ruin, ruled by a powerful man under the service of demons. His plan is to bring the demon world to ours, and to rule over everything and everyone. His only enemy? The son of his fellow student whose come to stop him ten years after his fathers death.

The audio on this disc is fairly average. A simply Dolby 2.0 mix with a few effects thrown to the rear, mostly through moments of the soundtrack to add depth to it. It's not too noticeable though, but the dialogue is clear and understandable.

The video on this disc though is above average. Filled with deep blacks and very dark blues, the encoders did an excellent job authoring this. Blacks and reds being among the hardest to encode, especially for animation, I saw not one instant of artifacting, blockiness or any pixellation. Between this release and the Grappler Baki disc, I'm extremely pleased with how well the authors at CPM are learning in their trade.

The packaging, as seen here, is the branded anime disc with a fairly eye-catching cover. The natural plug to bring in some fans is the "From the creator of Ninja Scroll". In comparison, this is definitely a slower paced movie and nothing like Ninja Scroll. But, that's good in my mind, as it shows some variety in the creators field.

The menu, while typical of all CPM discs, is much better than previous ones just in the background art selection for the main menu. Very eye-appealing.

I definitely enjoyed watching this disc as much as I did the first time I saw the laserdisc a few years back. This is another title, similar to Venus Wars, that would make an excellent Hollywood movie. It's pacing and style is a great mixture of both eastern and western, and could easily be viewed as a flowing storyboard for a full scale movie with some fleshing out.

Kyoya and Sayaka make their journey at the behest of the evil Rebi Ra's old master to seek out the evil in the city that is going to bring down the demon world upon the Earth, which is at the same time close to a first, true world peace. Through a variety of encounters and musings with the inhabitants of the decidedly dark world, they eventually meet up with Rebi Ra and end in a confrontation. One of the things that appeals to me a lot about this movie is the imagery. The ruined city with the collapsed buildings, the eerie silence to the majority of it... it does well in capturing the mood of a doomed city close to its final end. This is definitely a disc I'm glad to have in my collection, and if you like shows similar to this, add it to yours as well.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.



Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Central Park Media
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 82
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Demon City Shinjuku